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RHS Class of '77 holding reunion

By Staff
Kim West
Franklin County Times
When the Russellville High School Class of 1977 reunion committee met late last year, the members decided to plan a different type of event for their 30-year reunion, which is this Friday beginning at 7 p.m. at the RHS Field House.
"We started talking about it at the end of last year, and we initially got together to see if anyone wanted to have the (30-year reunion)," said Sharon Hester, a member of the committee and a former circuit court judge in Franklin County. "One of the points of having it at the field house is to give everyone the opportunity to see the facility and the excitement of the football game."
The Class of 1977's previous reunions were held in formal locations – Twin Pines Country Club in Littleville (10-year) and the Sheffield Holiday Inn (20-year). The committee, which also includes Donna (Strickland) Barksdale, Elaine (Clement) Melmquist, Doug Clement, Mike Mayfield and Gina (Hester) James, decided to schedule this reunion to coincide with a Friday night football game.
"There is no charge, and it's being held during the ball game so you can actually watch from the comfort of inside (the field house) and everyone else can mingle," Hester said. "For food, we'll have to have the Russellville dogs, which have the traditional ketchup, mustard and slaw mixture – it's going to be simple affair."
The previous two reunions drew nearly 50 percent attendance, and Hester said she's hoping this one also attracts many of her former classmates.
"When you have been out of school for 30 years, the joy of seeing people you haven't seen in years hopefully overrides the cliques from high school, which shouldn't matter anymore," Hester said. "We're just hoping to recognize each other and we're encouraging everyone to bring their children – and at our ages, their grandchildren."
Hester said the committee has been busy the past several months collecting addresses and sending former classmates invitations to the event.
"(The committee) had to start from scratch each time because people move away, and we still don't know where some people are now," Hester said. "Sometimes it's easy to find people if they're local, but it's difficult finding people who have moved away. And even with the technology today, some people don't have public addresses or they don't have phone numbers.
"We specifically put in our letters asking everyone to make sure to tell other classmates about the reunion. We also included that the reunion is not a school-sponsored event, so everyone is going to have to buy a ticket to get in to the ball game."
Hester said she understood that family commitments and other factors will prevent some people from attending Friday's event, but she would like to see as many classmates as possible there.
"Family comes first, and some people have kids who are involved in another high school's activities, so that's understandable," Hester said. "But I would like to emphasize that we're encouraging everyone to come to the reunion whether they received an invite or not. You can wear blue jeans or whatever you want to and have a good time – it's a casual get-together."
For more information, contact Mike Mayfield at 332-8419 or Sharon Hester at 331-0807.